Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Yale

Ayaan Hirsi Ali starts her speech at 10:15 into the video. 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "If you look at the flag of Saudi Arabia and you look at the flag of the Islamic State you will see differences in color and differences in the font, but what you see when you read the letters is the confession to be a Muslim la ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet or his Messenger. Saudi Arabia underscores that with a sword. How can they represent peace? Why are Muslims not demanding answers from them?" 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rouhani is deceiving the ignorant West on Islam, just like Obama did in his 2009 Cairo speech

Rouhani told Curry, “From the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity. And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people in fact is a matter of shame for them and it’s the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind.”  This is exactly what Obama did in 2009 when he quoted verse 5:32 and omitted verse 5:33.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to New York next week will be a welcome relief for the Iranian leader. Finally, he’ll be somewhere where he’s appreciated, even loved.

Ahead of his trip to America, the US media continued its practice of presenting Rouhani as a moderate, and a natural ally for the US.

NBC News’ Anne Curry interviewed Rouhani in Tehran, focusing her attention on his dim view of Islamic State.

Rouhani told Curry, “From the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity. And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people in fact is a matter of shame for them and it’s the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind.”

The US media and political establishment’s willingness to take Rouhani at his word when he says that he’s a moderate is one of the reasons that Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz was in such a desolate mood on Wednesday.

During a briefing with the foreign media, Steinitz described the state of negotiations between the US and its negotiating partners – Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – and Iran regarding its illicit nuclear weapons program.

The briefing followed the latest round of the biennial Israeli-US strategic dialogue. Steinitz led the Israeli delegation to the talks, which focused on Iran, the week before nuclear talks were scheduled to be renewed.

One of Steinitz’s chief concerns was the US’s insistence that Rouhani is a moderate.

In his words, “The only thing that has changed [since Rouhani replaced president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] is the tone. The only difference is that the world was unwilling to hear from Ahmadinejad and [his nuclear negotiator Saeed] Jalili, what it is willing to listen to from Rouhani and [Iranian Foreign Minister Javad] Zarif.”

Unlike the Americans, the Iranian people are through with the fiction that Rouhani is a moderate, which is why he no doubt will be happier in New York than in Tehran.

Rouhani’s trip to New York coincides with his one-year anniversary in office. Since he took power, a thousand Iranians have been executed by the regime.

Forty-five people were executed in just the past two weeks.

According to Iranian scholar Majid Rafizadeh, the public’s tolerance for regime violence has reached a breaking point.

In an article in the Frontpage Magazine online journal, Rafizadeh described how 3,000 people descended on regime executioners as they were poised to kill a youth in Mahmoudabad in northern Iran. The protest forced them to call off the show.

They murdered the young man the next day, when no one was looking.

As Iran scholar Dr. Michael Ledeen has explained, the rise in regime brutality is directly proportional to the threat it perceives from the public.

And the regime has good reason to be worried.

Anti-regime protests and strikes occur countrywide, every day.

For instance, from September 9-14, MEK, an Iranian opposition group, documented public protests against security forces and attacks on regime agents in Tehran, Zanzan, Bane, Qom, Karaj and Bandar Abbas.

These actions ran the gamut from a strike by a thousand gas workers in the Aslaviyah gas fields who protested searches of their dormitory rooms by regime agents, to two separate assaults on military vehicles in Zanzan, to youth responding violently in cities throughout the country when regime agents tried to enforce Islamic dress codes on women and girls.

Under the same Rouhani who waxed so poetically against beheadings when speaking to an overeager NBC reporter, not only have state executions have massively intensified. Public floggings, public hand amputations and other public demonstrations of regime brutality have also expanded to levels unseen in recent years.

Rouhani promised to protect women’s rights. Yet since he took office, women’s rights have been severely curtailed.

Last month, the Revolutionary Guards barred women from working as waitresses. In July, Tehran’s mayor barred women from sharing workspace with men. These moves and others like them, aimed at enforcing gender apartheid in all public places in the country, force millions of women into poverty. The official unemployment level for women is already hovering around 20 percent.

Then there are Iran’s other social ills, for instance drug addiction.

Iran has the highest level of drug addiction in the world. According to Babak Dinparast, a senior Iranian drug enforcement official, some 3.5 million Iranians, or 4.4% of the population, are drug users.

In April, Dinparast made the stunning claim that 53% of drug users are government employees.

According to the Iranian parliament’s research institute, the average productive hours of Iranian workers is 22 minutes a day.

In Transparency International’s ranking of administrative and economic corruption, Iran ranks 144th out of 177 countries.

In other words, Iran is coming apart at the seams. The people cannot stand the regime. The regime, incompetent and unwilling to tackle any of Iran’s problems, responds to the public’s outrage with massive, brutal repression.

If left to its own devices, in all likelihood, the Iranian regime would have been toppled five years ago when it falsified the results of the 2009 presidential elections, and so fomented the Green Revolution But the people of Iran didn’t bet on the regime’s ace in the hole: the Obama administration.

The same Obama administration that supported the overthrow of US allies in the war on Islamic jihad – Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi – stood by the Iranian regime as it massacred its people in the streets of Iranian cities for daring to demand their freedom.

If the 2009 Green Revolution was the gravest threat the regime had faced since the 1979 revolution brought it to power, today the regime is also imperiled.

On Monday, Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was released from the hospital after undergoing prostate surgery. Several strategic analyses published since then claim that his days are numbered and that as a consequence, the regime faces a period of profound uncertainty and instability.

The Iranian people are watching all of this, and waiting.

As was the case in 2009, the disaffected Iranians, who hate their regime and want good relations with the US and the West, remain the greatest threat to the regime.

Beyond its borders, Iran is also under stress. With its Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah forces committed to Syria in defense of Bashar Assad, Iran finds its position in Iraq threatened by the rising power of Islamic State.

Yet, as happened in 2009, in the midst of this gathering storm, the Obama administration is rushing to the mullahs’ rescue, begging Iran to support US efforts to fight Islamic State, indeed claiming that securing Iran’s support and cooperation is a necessary precondition for the mission’s success.

To say that this US policy is madness is an understatement.

As Michael Weiss documented in Foreign Policy in June, Iran and its puppet, the Syrian regime, played central roles in facilitating the development and empowerment of Islamic State both in Syria and Iraq. A defector from the Syrian Military Intelligence Directorate reported in January that the regime helped form Islamic State.

First, it sprang Sunni jihadist leaders from Sednaya prison in 2011. Then, it facilitated in the creation of the armed brigades that became Islamic State.

The idea was that through Islamic State, it could tarnish the reputation of all of its opponents by claiming they were all jihadists.

US military officers with deep knowledge of Iran’s role in Iraq told Weiss that Islamic State’s leadership entered Iraq from Iran.

A key al-Qaida financier, Olimzhon Adkhamovich Sadikov, was charged in February by the US Treasury Department with “provid[ing] logistical support and funding to al-Qaida’s Iran-based network.”

US Army Col. Rick Welch, who served as the military liaison to both the Sunni tribes and the Shi’ite militia in Iraq during the 2007-2008 US military surge, told Weiss that the assessment of Iraqi Sunnis and Shi’ites alike was that “Iran was funding any group that would keep Iraq in chaos.”

Iran sought chaos in order to prevent the establishment of a stable Iraqi government allied with the US while incrementally establishing Iranian control over the country.

Iran’s actions in Iraq and Syria, in other words, have for the past decade been focused on expanding Iranian power at the expense of the US and the Iraqi and Syrian people.

This behavior of course is in line with Iran’s global strategy. From its support for Hamas to its control over Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, from developing a strategic alliance with Venezuela to expanding its presence throughout South and Central America, through its closely cultivated relationship with Russia, Iran’s every move involves expanding its power and influence at America’s expense.

And yet, despite this, the Obama administration has made strengthening the Iranian regime and appeasing it the centerpiece of its Middle East policy.

President Barack Obama told Jeffrey Goldberg in March that Iran is a rational actor that the US can do business with.

He said, “If you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they’re not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits.”

As Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry now perceive things, Iran opposes Islamic State, and therefore it will play a supportive role in the US campaign against Islamic State. Moreover, by participating in the campaign, Iran will demonstrate its good faith and so make it possible for the US to cut a deal with the mullahs that will legitimize their illicit uranium enrichment – because really, how big a threat can a country that opposes Islamic State be? As for Iran, it sees its interest as having the US destroy Islamic State, and if possible, having the US pay Iran for the privilege of fighting Iran’s war – against the foe Iran did so much to create.

And this brings us back to Steinitz’s gloomy assessment of the talks with Iran. Steinitz warned against the growing prospect of the US caving in to Iran’s nuclear demands as a payoff for Iranian support against Islamic State.

In his words, “Some people might think, ‘Let’s clean the table, let’s close the [nuclear] file,” in order to get Iran on board against Islamic State.

Unfortunately for Steinitz, and for the rest of the world, including the US, the Obama administration seems bent on proving him right.

Today the Iranian regime is weaker than it has been since it violently repressed the Green Revolution.

And that is why Rouhani is happy to be coming to New York.

He knows that now, as then, the Obama administration will save the regime. This, even as the mullahs advance their goal of becoming the hegemons of the Middle East at the US’s expense, and completing their nuclear weapons program, which will secure the regime for decades to come, and threaten America directly.

Caroline Glick is the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.

June 4, 2009
Obama quotes verse 5:32, omits 5:33
President Obama in his speech said " The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind."

I really find it odd that neither President Obama nor any of his advisors did not realize that the meaning of verse 5:32 is not clear until it is quoted together with verse 5:33 which follows it:

YUSUFALI: On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land


YUSUFALI: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;

Update: Andrew Bostom writes:

Immediately following the murderous acts of jihad terrorism committed on September 11, 2001, Ibn Warraq highlighted the tragic irony of many apologists quoting selectively from Qur'an 5:32-"whoso slays a soul . . . shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether"- attempting to demonstrate that the Qur'ran disapproved of violence and killing.

Firstly, these wonderful sounding words come from a preexisting Jewish text (Mishnah, IV Division 5, "Thus was created a single man, to teach us that every person who loses a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has lost the entire world, and every person who sustains a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has sustained the entire world."

And apologists for Islam-just like President Obama-quote the Koranic words out of context. For the very next verse offers quite a different meaning from that of 5:32, which was "laid...down for the Israelites," as stated in the next verse, 5:33, continuing:

"...Our apostles brought them [the Jews] veritable proofs: yet it was not long before many of them committed great evils in the land. Those that make war against Allah and His apostle [Muhammad] and spread disorder shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the country. (Qur'an 5:33)"

The supposedly noble sentiments of the first verse, taken from a Jewish source, are entirely undercut by the second verse, which becomes a bloodthirsty menacing by Muhammad of the Jews. (And as an aside the Muslim sources estimate Muhammad killed 24,000 Jews in his jihad campaigns against them). Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively insist that any who oppose the Muslim prophet will be killed, or crucified, mutilated, and banished.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Does moderate Islam exist?

Until the leading Islamic scholars provide a peaceful theology that clearly contradicts the violent views of the IS, the existence of a  “moderate Islam” must be questioned.

The guiding principle of the Islamic State (IS) is that Muslims must fight non-Muslims all over the world and offer them the following choices: Convert to Islam, pay a humiliating tax called “Jijya,” or be killed. This violent doctrine was the primary justification for the Islamic conquests by the early Muslims.

Following the latest in a long string of inhumane and barbaric attacks by the IS, who only offer these three options to non-Muslims, it becomes mandatory to ask whether this principle IS uses is Islamic or Un-Islamic.

In other words, can a young Muslim become more religious—and more obedient to Allah—without subscribing to this ancient brutality? Will he be able to find an approved Islamic theological source or interpretation that clearly contradicts this principle, or at least teaches it in a different way (i.e., contextualizing it in time and place)?

The sad answer is: No, he cannot.

Traditionally there are five sources for Islamic Law: the Koran, the Hadith of Prophet Mohamed (such as Sahih Al-Buchakry), the actions of the disciples of Mohamed (Sahaba), the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and the Tafseer (or Interpretations) of the Koran.

If a young Muslim were to do some research to examine whether what the IS is doing is in fact Islamic or Un-Islamic, he would find some shocking results.

The literal understanding of the Koran 9:29 can easily be used to justify what the IS is doing. “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humiliated."

But perhaps this young Muslim will decide to see if the Hadith of Al-Buchakry may explain it differently. The following Sahih (authentic) Hadith in Al-Buchakry also supports the violent IS ideology: Sahih al-Bukhari 6924—Muhammad said: “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘La ilaha illallah’ (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and whoever said ‘No God other than Allah’ will save his property and his life from me."

Feeling uncomfortable with the literal interpretations of such texts, the young Sunni Muslim might try to find an answer in the actions of the Sahaba. Sadly, the Sahaba (Disciples of Mohamed) were the ones who first used these principles to justify the Islamic conquests and the subjugation of non-Muslims to Islam.

The fourth source for Islamic law is the four schools of Islamic Jurisprudence, namely: Al-Shafeii, Al-Hanbali, Al-Hanafi, and Al- Maleki. These four schools, without a single exception, support the principle that Muslims must fight non-Muslims and offer them the following choices: Convert to Islam, pay a humiliating tax called “Jijya,” or be killed.

The fifth, and last hope for a young Muslim to hold a less horrific view of Koran 9:29 is to find a Tafseer (an interpretation or commentary) that interprets it differently.

A basic search of almost ALL approved interpretations for the Koran supports the same violent conclusion. The 25 leading approved Koran Interpretations (commentaries)—that are usually used by Muslims to understand the Koran --unambiguously support the violent understanding of the verse.

So where might a young moderate Muslim find a non-violent understanding for such a verse?

Saying that “Islam is the religion of Peace” or condemning the IS as being “un-Islamic” without condemning the principle that Muslims must fight non-Muslims to subjugate them to Islam is not just hypocritical but also counterproductive as it hides the true cause of the problem and impedes the efforts to solve it.

Similarly, not calling the IS the Islamic State (to avoid using the word Islamic)—as suggested by some Islamic scholars—is not going to change the painful fact that the IS is using an approved and unchallenged principle of the Islamic theology. Such scholars need to work on providing peaceful alternatives to the current violent theology instead of asking the world not to call the IS the Islamic State.

In brief, there are certainly many moderate “Muslims.” Until the leading Islamic scholars provide a peaceful theology that clearly contradicts the violent views of the IS, however, the existence of a “moderate Islam” must be questioned. 
Important note: A modern and peaceful interpretation of Koran 9:29 is available at “Modern Interpretation of the Quran” [in Arabic] written by the author of this Op-Ed (Dr. T. HAMID).

The book (which could currently be the only available peaceful interpretation for the verse) has not been approved yet by the leading Islamic institutes but has gained more than two Million (2M) followers (Likes) mostly from young Arabic speaking Muslims since it was created in May 2013.

The writer is an Islamic thinker and reformer, and a one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt. He was a member of the terrorist organization JI with Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later became the second-in-command of al-Qaida. He is currently a senior fellow and chairman of the study of Islamic radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. 

Is Islam a “religion of peace?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Column One: Of politicians and moral courage

 Barack Obama cannot successfully lead the war on terror because he is not a leader. He is a politician.


Leaders are not elected. Politicians are elected. Their election in turn provides politicians with the opportunity to become leaders.

You don’t become a leader by telling people what they want to hear, although doing so certainly helps to you get elected. A politician becomes a leader by telling people what they don’t want to hear.

If they are lucky, politicians will never have to become leaders. They will serve in times of peace and plenty, when it’s possible to pretend away the hard facts of the human condition. And they can leave office beloved for letting people believe that the world is the Elysian Fields.

Certainly this has been the case for many American politicians since the end of World War II.

This is not the case today. In our times, evil rears its ugly head with greater power and frequency than it has in at least a generation. As Americans learned 13 years ago this week, evil ignored is evil empowered.

Yet fighting evil and protecting the good is not a simple matter. Evil has many handmaidens.

Those who hide it away enable it. Those who justify it enable it. Those who ignore it enable it.

To fight evil effectively, a leader must possess the moral wisdom to recognize that evil can only be rooted out when the environment that cultivates it is discredited and so transformed. To discredit and transform that environment, a leader must have the moral courage to stand not only against evildoers, but against their far less controversial facilitators.

In other words, the foundations of true leadership are moral clarity and courage.

On Wednesday two American elected leaders gave speeches. In one, a leader emerged. In the other, a politician gave a speech.

The first speech was given by Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

On Wednesday evening, Cruz gave the keynote address at the inaugural dinner of an organization that calls itself In Defense of Christians.

The purpose of the new organization is supposed to be advocacy on behalf of oppressed Christian communities in the Middle East.

Ahead of the dinner, The Washington Free Beacon website questioned Cruz’s decision to address the group. Several Christian leaders from Lebanon and Syria also scheduled to address the forum had records of public support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah, and had made egregiously anti-Semitic statements.

For instance, Church of Antioch Patriarch Gregory III Laham blamed jihadist attacks on Iraqi Christians on a “Zionist conspiracy against Islam” aimed at making Muslims look bad.

Probably the organization’s leaders assumed that Cruz would give their group bipartisan credibility and never considered he might challenge their anti-Jewish prejudices. No American politician in recent memory has made an issue of the rampant Jew-hatred among Middle Eastern Christians. Probably they figured that he’d make an impassioned speech about the plight of Christians under the jackboot of Islamic State, enjoy warm applause, leave the hall and clear the path for other speakers to blame the Jews.

Cruz did not follow the script. Instead he used the opportunity to tell his audience hard truths.

In a statement released by his office, Cruz summarized the events of the evening.

“I told the attendees that those who hate Israel also hate America... that those who hate Jews also hate Christians. And that anyone who hates Israel and the Jewish people is not following the teachings of Christ.

“I went on to tell the crowd that Christians in the Middle East have no better friend than Israel. That Christians can practice their faith free of persecution in Israel. And that ISIS [Islamic State], al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah, along with their state sponsors in Syria and Iran, are all part of the same cancer, murdering Christians and Jews alike. Hate is hate, and murder is murder.”

For his decision not to take the low road, Cruz was subjected to angry boos and heckling from the audience, whose members angrily rejected his remarks.

“After just a few minutes, I had no choice,” Cruz said. “I told them that if you will not stand with Israel, if you will not stand with the Jews, then I will not stand with you. And then I walked off the stage.”

Cruz’s action was an act of moral leadership.

He stood before his audience of fellow Christians and told his co-religionists that their hatred of Jews and Israel is un-Christian. He told them as well that their bigotry blinds them to their own plight and makes them reject their greatest ally in securing their future in the Middle East.

Cruz’s strategy for fighting Islamic oppression of Christians involves uniting all those oppressed and attacked by jihadists. In all honesty, it is the only policy that has a chance in the long term of securing the future of the Christians of the Middle East.

For Cruz to reach this conclusion, he first had to possess the moral clarity to recognize that Christian Jew-hatred is a major obstacle to securing the future of the Middle East’s Christians.

In other words his strategic vision is anchored in moral courage.

The same evening that Cruz was booed off the stage by an audience of anti-Semitic Christians, US President Obama gave a speech to the general audience where he set out his rationale for fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and his strategy for doing so.

In some ways, it is unfair to compare Obama’s speech to Cruz’s. Cruz addressed a narrow constituency and Obama gave his speech to all Americans, and indeed to the entire world.

A more apt comparison would be between Cruz’s speech to the pro-terror Christians and Obama’s speech to an audience that included Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo in 2009.

Indeed, the chief reason that Cruz’s speech was an act of leadership, and Obama’s was the address of a politician, is that Obama’s speech reflected his remarks in Cairo and his subsequent speeches to Muslim audiences and about Islam throughout the intervening years.

Neither during his speech in Cairo nor in subsequent remarks has Obama ever called out the world’s Muslims for their bigotry against Jews, Christians and others. Neither during his speech in Cairo nor in subsequent addresses has Obama spoken out against Islamic terrorism or the jihadist world view that stands at the foundation of Islamic terrorism.

Rather, throughout his presidency Obama has denied the existence of the jihad, its ideology and the fact that it is a force shaping events throughout the world.

Wednesday’s speech was no exception.

At the outset of his remarks, Obama insisted that Islamic State, or (ISIL has he calls it), “is not ‘Islamic.’” Obama may be right, and he may be wrong.

That’s for Muslims to determine. But whatever the truth is about Islam and jihad, the fact is that hundreds of millions of Muslims believe that Islamic State and other jihadist groups and regimes, of both the Shi’ite and Sunni variety, are accurate expressions of Islam. This is why thousands of Muslims from Europe and the US are flocking to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State.

Obama’s policies for contending with Islamic jihadists are a natural extension of his refusal to speak hard truths to Muslims or speak truthfully about Islamic terrorism and jihadism. His whitewashing of jihadist Islam on Wednesday night similarly was reflected in the strategy he set out for fighting Islamic State.

As Fred and Kim Kagan noted in The Weekly Standard, Obama’s decision to use counterterror strategies for fighting Islamic State is a recipe for failure. What Obama referred to as “a terrorist organization,” is actually an insurgency that fights battles against standing armies and wins.

Counterterror operations cannot work against such a force.

So, too, Obama’s asserted that his strategy for fighting Islamic State has been tried and succeeded in Somalia and Yemen. Yet by all accounts, jihadist forces in both countries are not only undefeated, they are becoming stronger.

Obama’s strategy involves joining US air power with anti-Islamic State forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria. Yet aside from the Kurds, all the forces on the ground in both countries are deeply problematic.

Just hours before Obama’s speech, the leadership of Syria’s “moderate” rebel forces was decapitated in an explosion. And for all their moderation, the leaders were part of an anti-Assad coalition that included Islamic State.

Although he is an Alawite, Bashar Assad and his forces are members of the Shi’ite jihadist coalition led by Iran that includes Hezbollah.

These forces are more dangerous than Islamic State. Yet US air strikes against Islamic State will redound to their direct benefit.

Obama’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of jihad – of both the Sunni and Shi’ite variety – makes it impossible for him to devise a realistic strategy for defeating jihadists. He rightly defines Islamic State as an enemy of the US, but because he denies the existence of jihad, he is incapable of putting Islamic State in its proper strategic context. Among the many forces fighting on the ground in Iraq and Syria today, you have two jihadist forces – one Shi’ite and one Sunni – that are fighting each other. Both are enemies of America and its allies.

To be sure, Islamic State must be confronted and defeated – just as Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaida, Hamas and Boko Haram need to be defeated.

Defeating only one group empowers others, and so you keep ending up where you started.

Yet rather than understand that while jihadist forces may oppose one another, the threat they pose to the free world is indivisible, as Obama focuses on Islamic State, he is enabling Iran to expand its power in Iraq and Syria, and to complete its nuclear weapons program.

Last week the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran continues to hide key information about its nuclear program from the UN nuclear watchdog, despite its agreement to provide the IAEA with full transparency last November.

The Iranians continue to bar IAEA inspectors from the suspected military nuclear installation at Parchin. Negotiations on a nuclear accord between the US and its partners and Iran are going nowhere. According to Western diplomatic sources, the failure to reach an accord owes entirely to Iran’s refusal to compromise on any substantive nuclear issues.

While Iran refuses to provide transparency to the IAEA, its guiding strategy is clear to the naked eye. It is prolonging negotiations to buy time to complete its nuclear program.

However, Obama, who insists that Islamic State “terrorists are unique in their brutality,” refuses to see the true picture.

The truth revealed on Wednesday night is that Obama cannot lead a successful war against the forces of Islamic jihad that threaten humanity. He cannot do so because he rejects the moral clarity required to confront the danger.

He cannot successfully lead the war because, as we saw once again on Wednesday night, he is not a leader. He is a politician.


During the recent war Senator Ted Cruz accused the Obama administration of unilaterally launching an economic boycott of Israel by banning all air travel to Israel. Within 24 hours after Ted Cruz’s accusation the decision was reversed. 

Anne Bayefsky speaks at the UN about UN antisemitism, Sept. 8, 2014